Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities

The undergraduate collaborative education program prepares students to work in general and special education settings with children and youth who have a wide range of disabilities. Students take the majority of their courses together, work on numerous collaborative assignments and projects with their peers and instructors, and participate in a number of practicums in a variety of educational settings. The final semester is devoted to a full-time teaching internship in a local education agency appropriate to the teaching certificate option selected. Mentor teachers for the internship are selected carefully and work closely with faculty to ensure program continuity and high-quality student teaching experiences.

Students with a major in early childhood special education learn about the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development of young children with special needs and about their families. Students graduating with this major are eligible for certification in early childhood special education (P-3) and early childhood (P-3).

The multiple abilities program (MAP) is an integrated program leading to certification in four areas: collaborative special education (K–6), elementary education (K-6), early childhood (P-3), and early childhood special education (P-3). This program is open to 25 full-time students, who are selected to complete the 78-semester-hour course sequence over four consecutive semesters and one summer term. Students may be considered for participation only if, by the end of the summer term prior to MAP coursework, they have completed the College of Education’s general studies program, excluding CAT 200| and CAT 250|, but including MUE 107|.

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Associate Professor Nicole Cain Swoszowski, Department Head
Office: 201-B Graves Hall

The department offers undergraduate programs requiring the completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours as specified. These programs lead to the bachelor of science in education degree and the Alabama Class B Professional Educator Certificate. Admission is competitive, and meeting stated criteria does not guarantee admission. Rather, applicants who meet stated criteria are guaranteed consideration for admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP). An individual may request from the program chairperson or his or her adviser information concerning summative data on the most recent previous admissions.


Department Head
  • Nicole Cain Swoszowski
  • Gregory J. Benner
  • Carol A. Donovan
  • Kristine Jolivette
  • Jennifer L. Jolly
  • Sara McDaniel
  • Robert A. McWilliam
  • N. Kagendo Mutua
Associate Professor
  • Lucy Barnard-Brak
  • Nicole Cain Swoszowski
Assistant Professor
  • Yusuf Akamoglu
  • Marissa Filderman
  • Kristen Lamb
  • Ragan McLeod
  • Laci Watkins
Clinical Professor
  • Kathy Shaver Wetzel
Clinical Assistant Professors
  • Ashley Cawley
  • John Myrick
  • Catherine Price
  • Kimberly Tomeny
Clinical Research Assistant Professor
  • Sara Sanders
Clinical instructors
  • Lisa Burgess
  • Sharron Maughn



This course is designed as a developmental sequence of integrated themes covering historical foundations of education, educational finance, legal and ethical issues, contemporary issues, and fundamental technology concepts and integrated with MAP 302, MAP 403, MAP 404 and MAP 405.

Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Multiple Abilities Program
Except Lives in Society

Introduction and overview for non-education majors regarding characteristics of diversity, exceptionalities, and social/behavioral issues in the 21st century. A service learning project experience, to be arranged outside the Tuscaloosa educational community, that exposes students to diverse populations is included. Through web-based readings/critiques, class lecture, and service learning opportunities, participants in this course will explore diverse populations from within the context of characteristics, issues and trends, cultural differences, and research. Offered fall and spring semesters.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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